Special Section on Progress in Snow Remote Sensing

Interrelation among climate factors, snow cover, grassland vegetation, and lake in the Nam Co basin of the Tibetan Plateau

[+] Author Affiliations
Siyu Chen

Lanzhou University, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, Lanzhou 730020, China

Tiangang Liang

Lanzhou University, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, Lanzhou 730020, China

Hongjie Xie

University of Texas at San Antonio, Department of Geological Sciences, San Antonio, Texas 78249

Qisheng Feng

Lanzhou University, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, Lanzhou 730020, China

Xiaodong Huang

Lanzhou University, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, Lanzhou 730020, China

Hui Yu

Lanzhou University, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, Lanzhou 730020, China

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 8(1), 084694 (May 21, 2014). doi:10.1117/1.JRS.8.084694
History: Received January 5, 2014; Revised April 2, 2014; Accepted April 11, 2014
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Abstract.  Taking Nam Co basin as an example, we examine the interrelationship among vegetation growth, lake expansion, snow cover, and climate change, based on meteorological data and multisource remote sensing datasets. Results show that the climate has become warmer and wetter during the period of time from 1961 to 2010, with rates of +0.04°C/year (P<0.001) for annual mean temperature and +1.66mm/year (P=0.007) for annual precipitation, while the snow-covered index experienced a decreasing trend (31.94km2·day/year, P=0.129) from 2003 to 2010. In response, the vegetation growth was deteriorative in most parts of the basin. Conversely, both the lake’s area and water level increased (+2.15km2/year and +0.12m/year, respectively). Although the enhanced vegetation index in the basin negatively correlates well with the lake’s area (R2=0.75, P=0.001), the correlation shows gradual decrease as distance away from the lake’s shoreline, from 25 km (zone A), to 25–50 km (zone B), and to 50–95 km (zone C). Two main factors might have contributed to this: (1) lake expansion buried grassland vegetation in zone A and (2) more gravel buildup and soil erosion due to runoff from snow melted water in zone A than in zones B and C. This study provides a scientific basis for the evaluation of changes in alpine grassland, lake, snow cover, and their responses to climate change.

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© 2014 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Siyu Chen ; Tiangang Liang ; Hongjie Xie ; Qisheng Feng ; Xiaodong Huang, et al.
"Interrelation among climate factors, snow cover, grassland vegetation, and lake in the Nam Co basin of the Tibetan Plateau", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 8(1), 084694 (May 21, 2014). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JRS.8.084694


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